Like the Lenovo S21e, the Pavilion x360's trackpad is undersized--about half the size of a normal trackpad. But the S21e's trackpad was precise and responsive to compensate for its small size. The Pavilion x360's is not nearly as refined, with some difficulty recognizing scrolling and click-and drag motions in particular.
For ports, the Pavilion x360 features a single USB 2.0 slot and a card reader on the left side, plus the volume rocker and power button. The right side is adorned with an Ethernet port, HDMI out, two USB 3.0 ports, the Windows button, and the audio jack.
Which brings us to sound. This year's Pavilion x360 ditches the previous Beats branding for greener other pastures, this time partnering with B&O. The audio company, not the railroad. The speakers are actually decently loud, but like the S21e and the Acer Aspire E-15 the speakers are located righton your legs. Thus the Pavilion x360 sounds quite loud and bassy when you hold it in the air--it sounds great, actually. But then you put it on your legs and the sound is (surprise!) muffled.
Good looks isn't the only thing the Pavilion x360 has in common with the Dell Inspiron 15 5000. Performance-wise, the two are practically neck and neck. Sort of.
This is one of those cases where we get to take a look at the science behind benchmarks, and how they can be misleading. See, we ran PCMark 8 on both machines, and they turned out very similar scores. In Home Conventional, for instance, the Pavilion x360 scored 2,113 to the Inspiron 15 5000's 2,210. Those are pretty damn close.
Ditto for the Creative Conventional (HP: 1,902 and Dell: 1,933) and the Work Conventional (HP: 2,636 and Dell: 2,436). In fact, the Pavilion x360 actually outscored the Inspiron 15 5000 in that last test!
"OK, what's the problem?" you say. Well, scores don't tell the whole story. While the Pavilion x360 and the Inspiron 15 5000 both scored very similarly in benchmarks, the setups they used to achieve those scores could not be more different.
The Inspiron 15 5000 (and the HP 15t Touch for that matter, which scored almost identical marks) is a very traditional sort of laptop with an Intel Core i3 processor clocked at 2GHz, integrated Intel HD 5500 graphics, 6GB of RAM, and a 1TB 5400 RPM hard drive. Aside from the hard drive, those are some fairly nice parts for a $500 laptop.
The Pavilion x360, by contrast, packs an Intel Core M-5Y10c processor clocked at 800MHz (up to 2.00GHz Turbo), integrated Intel HD Graphics 5300, 4GB of RAM, and a zippy 128GB SSD.
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